A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese
Ever since Eddie won the grand prize, he had the feeling he was a marked man.
It started three months ago. The National Alliance of Casino Operators held their annual drawing. The grand prize was ten thousand dollars a week for life. Coincidentally, all of the people who had won the non-transferable prize in the past were in their seventies and in ill health. At twenty five, Eddie was not only the youngest to ever win the prize, he was also the healthiest.
Being non-transferable, once the winner died, that was the end of the payouts.
Maybe Eddie was just being paranoid. Then again maybe not. He did know that two weeks after his first payment, he began having a rash of bad luck. It started with a hit and run car accident. From out of nowhere a large truck broadsided him on the driver side. Fortunately, it was a brand new car. The side airbags saved him. He was shook up but alright. The other car was never found.
Next was the drive by shooting. He had one of the neighborhood kids take his dog out for an evening walk. It was cold so he loaned the kid his jacket. He was shot about a block from the house. Fortunately he lived.
Then there was the suspicious package mailed to his house. Sensors at the post office picked up gunpowder residue. The package was diverted to the local bomb squad. They x-rayed it and sure enough it was a bomb. They detonated it without a problem.
It was apparent that someone wanted him dead. Eddie wasn't stupid. He figured it had something to do with the money. He knew it wasn't a family member. They were being well taken care of. He thought it was some jealous sicko unhappy about not having won the prize.
Eddie decided it was time to hire a bodyguard. Someone to hang back far enough not to be noticed, but close enough to quickly step in if the need ever arose.
It did, and rather quickly too. Eddie and a friend were walking down the street one day when a fancy black car with tinted windows pulled up alongside them. A man jumped out and tried to tackle Eddie. The bodyguard was on his toes and quickly intervened. He slammed a stun gun into the guys gut and put him down. He then dove into the open car door and put a gun to the drivers head before he could get away.
They were both arrested and interrogated. Turns out they were a couple of armature murder for hire thugs hired by an anonymous individual to “fix a mistake that should have never happened.” Payment was sent by courier with no way to trace it to the sender.
Eddie found a good lawyer and set up the prize payments to come through his office, then forwarded to an undisclosed off shore account. He took out a huge life insurance policy, then disappeared from sight.
© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.